As many of you are aware, the Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition, Inc. (“IICC”) has a history of informing the citizens of Lenawee County about the status of the proposed industrial wind complex and the intentions of industrial wind developers operating in our area, often providing information that the wind developers would rather not share with the local citizens.
Continuing in that tradition, the IICC is announcing that Blissfield Wind Energy, LLC, (“BWE”) has formally declared its abandonment of the proposed industrial wind turbine project in Riga / Ogden / Palmyra Townships. (BWE is a joint venture between Exelon and Great Lakes Wind).
On or about December 22, 2011, Blissfield Wind Energy, LLC, entered into “Amendment No. 1 to Renewable Energy Purchase Agreement” with Consumers Energy Company, a copy of which is attached hereto. Pursuant to “Amendment No. 1,” the location of the proposed industrial wind complex is changed from “a preliminary location South of Riga, Michigan” to “a location in Gratiot County or Ionia County, Michigan.” (Emphasis added). However, “Amendment No. 1” is subject to approval by the Michigan Public Service Commission (“MPSC”).
On or about January 9, 2012, Consumers Energy Company filed an “Application For Ex Parte Approval of Amended Renewable Energy Contract,” a copy of which is also attached hereto. The “Application for Ex Parte Approval” requests that the MPSC approve “Amendment No. 1,” citing the following in support of its request:
The developer has concluded it is unable to develop its project in Riga, Palmyra and Ogden Townships due to significant opposition to wind generation development by the residents of Lenawee County. Hence, the developer has relocated its development plans to either Ionia County or Gratiot County, Michigan.
Thus, it appears that BWE will now attempt to impose their requested unsafe sound and setback limits upon the residents of Gratiot and Ionia Counties. The IICC wishes our friends in neighbors in Gratiot and Ionia Counties the best of luck in protecting their citizens from the dangers of improperly sited industrial wind turbines.
Joshua J. Nolan
Director – IICC, Inc.
Second, a note from Kevon Martis:
“As much as the developers tried to paint this as a question of NIMBY opposition to change, the bottom line for most residents is that this particular project reeked of crony capitalism and corporate welfare of the worst kind: increased industrial profits at private citizens’ expense. Couple that with solid scientific evidence that the noise limits and setbacks proposed by the developers are in fact unsafe as the IICC maintained throughout this whole episode and I am not surprised at this outcome. I now can only pray that the community will heal from this unnecessary debacle.
Lost in this discussion is the fact that Great Lakes Wind was a product of Lenawee County’s Ag advisory board. GLW was conceived and created by Mr. Ehlert, Gould, Swindeman, and Munson under the watchful eye of Commissioner Tuckerman, all while serving on the Lenawee AG Advisory Board. In fact, Lenawee County taxpayers subsidized their first meteorological tower to the tune of 20 thousand dollars [Or the price of two Star of David windows in the courthouse? LOL!]. Having experienced the environmental effects of their last agribusiness adventure in Riga Township, our residents decided they had simply had enough.
The Lenawee County experience with wind developers is common. Developer’s business models rely on moving as quickly as possible to avoid the public becoming informed about the effects of living too closely to 493’ tall industrial devices. When a project can’t be quickly approved under cover of darkness, it is difficult for the developers to prevail. Industry spokespeople are on record stating that their biggest obstacle to building projects is an informed citizenry. That is why we informed them.
This outcome was as much a rejection of the unsafe siting of turbines as it was to massive subsidies going to Fortune 100 and European industrial utilities to primarily serve as tax shelters for their conventional coal, nuclear and gas operations.
I could not be more proud of our townships. I hope Palmyra heeds the example of Riga, Ogden and Fairfield and redraw their wind ordinance in a manner that requires consent and compensation to all parties affected by the turbines.”
And, lastly, I have something to say about this too…
I wholeheartedly second Kevon’s statement about not being more proud. It took a great deal of time, effort, money, co-ordination, leadership, intelligence and passion to beat the government machine on this issue. Thank-you Kevon for pointing out (yet another shining example) how people hook up with government to press forward an agenda they can also position themselves to capitalize on. Opportunities like forming a business from sitting on a public service board and getting “wind” of something highly subsidized coming down the pike.
Remember all these people come election time and encourage upstanding people to run against them.
Thanks to all the individuals who fought for the cause. Thank-you IICC for showing us how to stand up…even if breaking wind was not as easy as it sounds.